McGinn’s Raw Recap – 8/18/14

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The Authority proudly presents Brock Lesnar with the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship (WWE.com)

Happy night after SummerSlam, Nation! The biggest night of the summer has come and gone and now we enter the doldrums of autumn, also known as the time of year where PPVs go to die! Sure we might get fooled this year as WWE attempts to boost its Network subscriptions. Let’s all convince ourselves that Night of Champions belongs in same conversation as the “Big Four” since most of our six month commitments are about to expire. Regardless, these are usually troubling times to be a wrestling fan. Yes, our champion is a part-timer after destroying our hero last night. Meanwhile, Russia got the better of America again and a war hero got his face kicked in. And of course, who can forget that when the going gets tough and your bosses keep terrorizing you and your family, the obvious thing for you to do is to turn your back on your loved ones and join forces with those same evil people who have been putting you through hell. Well, at least football season is upon us. It’s not all bad though because tonight, you have Raw. Some have argued that the day after SummerSlam can be just as exciting as the event itself. Well, we have three whole hours to put that theory to the test. So sit back, pull those leftover wings from your party out of the fridge and let’s head down to ringside!

Monday Night Raw
August 18, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

Your announcers tonight are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler.

A remix of SummerSlam’s open now including highlights and spoilers from Sunday starts us off tonight and who should emerge from behind the curtain, none other than Daniel Bry… ugh nope. It’s Stephanie McMahon playing her usual role as the proverbial turd in the punch bowl! She is still looking like an absolute smoke show rocking a red t-shirt with the words, “STEPH, STEPH, STEPH” across her monstrous chest. Hearing D-Bry’s music for the first time since June made me smile, but now I feel about as downtrodden as Steve Corino when he saw RVD beating Cesaro on the kickoff show. Needless to say, she has a microphone and I’m moments away from having myself a good vomit.

The billion dollar princess starts a “Steph” chant though the fans return with a “No” chant of their own. She mentions how epic the pay-per-view was and how many on social media considered SummerSlam to be better than WrestleMania. Her rationale for such a statement was because of the crowning of a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and tonight, we will have a presentation of the NEW title belt. Scott Criscuolo, if you are out there, I know you’re excited for some belt talk! I should mention that the microphones are all decked out with the new official logos and any evidence of the scratch Ws have been vanquished from everyone’s memory. It’s the dawn of a new day people!

Steph wishes a fast recovery for John Cena, who suffered a brutal beating last night against Brock Lesnar. She also referenced the losses suffered by Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose and then cuts a promo on Brie for being the biggest loser of the night on Sunday. It all caps off with another ridiculous $9.99 joke and all I have left is the dry heaves.

She then thanks HHH for always being by her side and faithful, unlike Daniel Bryan, and finally brings out that Jezebel, Nikki Bella. She has a minor shoe malfunction on the way to the ring that made me chuckle, but then she got down to business. That is until after her microphone started working after a few sentences. Big Boobed Bella calls her sister selfish and manipulative as well as pointing out the fact that since childhood, it has always been about Brie. She got sick of being told that she would never amount to anything or have a family and a husband like Brie. They mention the cheating stuff from a week ago and how Brie weaseled her way into a SummerSlam match with Steph. Nikki pulls out the alligator tears and talks about how she now can stand on her own two feet. She feels good to be free and I feel like playing in oncoming traffic!

But out comes Brie who is ready to kick some ass! She gets face to face with her sister and says that she will forgive her for last night. Nikki, that siliconed Judas, interrupts her and smacks the taste out of Brie’s mouth Del Rio style and proclaims that she will never forgive her! Brie cries, runs off, looks like a big loser like the rest of us and we mercifully go to break.

It’s a complete reboot this evening as even the graphics and music are different as if we are watching a completely different show. It is probably their first major change to the look of the program since Raw 1000, even down to the font of the lettering on the match cards. The aprons have the swank new W’s and even advertise for the Network on the sides, though I believe that change has been around since the winter.

We next get a replay of what we just watched. I can probably count on one hand how many people are truly excited for a Nikki/Brie feud. Remember when the Funkadactlys broke up and we were all supposed to care? Me neither!

LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN VS. BIG SHOW & MARK HENRY

They say the movement is strong because of all the “fireflies” in the crowd when the Wyatts head to the ring. No, it just looks cool when everyone pulls out their phones when the lights go out, JBL! Talk about a hoss tag match. Harper and Rowan almost look like cruiserweights next to these giants. Good to see the big guys are still collecting checks and the Wyatt boys could use something to do now that their awesome series with the Usos appears to be done. I will say this, Show is bumping like crazy for these boys! Holy shirts and pants Batman, Rowan slammed Big Show as if he were Rey Mysterio! He has definitely hit the weight room. It would all be for naught though as Show would KO punch Rowan into a World’s Strongest Slam and just like that, the Wyatts are toast! WINNERS: BIG SHOW & MARK HENRY

The announcers hype up a possible match with the Usos for the world’s largest tag team. I feel bad for Harper and Rowan, but take it from Cesaro, this is no time to be an up-and-coming stud on the roster.

Back to the showers with Dolph Ziggler getting congratulated by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Miz joins the fray and tells Ziggy that he doesn’t deserve to wear the Intercontinental Championship because he isn’t an “A-lister” like himself. Ziggler calls Miz an “A-hole” followed by a Flair WOOOOOOO to a huge laugh ending the brief segment. Oh right, the SummerSlam IC Title rematch is tonight!

We get still shots of the mammoth lumberjack match at SummerSlam and then an interview with Seth Rollins conducted by Renee Young. Mr. Money in the Bank brags about his win and how he’s the future of the entire WWE. Ambrose then literally dumps a bucket of ice cold water onto Rollins’ head and Dean replies with the now classic, “What? Its for charity!” He bops the empty bucket off Seth’s nose and proceeds to start a backstage brawl. This war is far from over!

After yet another break, we are treated to, you guessed it, more backstage stuff. This time it’s Kane and Triple H in deep discussions before their love child, Rollins, storms in. Seth wants Ambrose and Ambrose is exactly who he is going to get tonight. Hunter tells him that the Universe will decide what kind of match it will be and the blood will be on all of our hands once Rollins dispatches his former business associate.

NATALYA VS. DIVAS CHAMPION PAIGE

So Paige is once again carrying the silver and pink strap and tries to convince the world that she still loves and respects AJ. She dedicates this match to her “frienemy” and if you haven’t seen the SummerSlam match yet, you probably should instead of watching this. AJ interrupts this one shortly after Paige delivers those nasty headbutts of doom. She skips around the ring as her music plays just long enough to distract the champ and a cheap roll-up by Natty ends this one quickly. WINNER: NATALYA

What the hell? AJ says she respects and loves Paige and now she will dedicate her life to her “frienemy.” AJ wants to shake hands but Paige rolls out of the ring. Hardly the follow up I was hoping for after last night’s classic.

In the fan vote for the Rollins/Ambrose rematch, we can either pick a No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere or No Disqualification match. Umm, aren’t those all one in the same? I suppose if they put blindfold match on the list, they’d be afraid it would win and kill off the heat but jeez guys. At least try to be creative! The Raw Roulette would have been better than this. On the bright side, at least we are promised an absolute demolition derby of a street fight later tonight!

Behold the king, the King of Kings! The power couple comes to the ring with huge smiles as Jerry points out that everything is going the way of The Authority since last night. They are here to present the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Brock Lesnar. Hunter calls last night the greatest SummerSlam in WWE history and then unveils the new belt that quite frankly, looks very much like the previous WWE Championship strap. Yes the scratch logo is replaced by the Network W and there could very well be a couple more diamonds in this one. But you would need bifocals to be able to read the words, “World Heavyweight Champion” along the bottom frame of the belt. Still, better than the spinner belt though if push came to shove.

Hunter then announces the new champion, Brock Lesnar, to the ring and the power couple applauds the Beast all the way down the aisle. They all do a photo op along with Paul Heyman and Steph and really pile on the heat by posing for all four sides of the ring. Fans actually find themselves cheering for Lesnar because they are all a bunch of sheep and Heyman and his champion stand together victorious.

Paul introduces himself to us again and now can honestly gloat that his is the advocate for the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He then announces that John Cena is not in the building this evening after the savage beating he took in LA the day before. He said he never saw a superstar take an ass kicking the way Cena did at SummerSlam. He gives some historical perspective by pointing out that Cena’s run at the top of the mountain in WWE has been longer than those of Austin and Rock. He gives John credit for taking such a beating and coming back for more against Brock. He epitomized the catch phrase “never give up” last night. He earned Paul’s respect and if he had the time, he would love to make Cena a “Paul Heyman Guy.” Hmmmmm!

With all that said, Lesnar made Cena into a martyr and Cenation died at the hands of the Beast. Much like the Undertaker’s streak and career came to a crashing halt, so to was the fate of hustle, loyalty and respect. So the same beating will await the next man to step forward and attempt to capture the gold away from Brock Lesnar. We are then treated to a little “Basic Brockanomics” courtesy of the man we once knew as Mr. Dangerously. Basically he repeats the words “suplex repeat” 16 times much like what we saw in the match. It was another awesome and powerful promo by the greatest manager not named Heenan and it’s definitely worth a rewatch.

IC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: DOLPH ZIGGLER © VS. THE MIZ

Not complaining but still quite puzzled by the title change. Miz just got repackaged and only won the title a month ago though it really isn’t out of the question that they play hot potato with this title is it? Slow start but things picked up when Ziggler appeared to injure his knee. This was a followup to Miz working the leg last night so they continued with the awesome psychology here. Dolph looked in agony while fighting out of the figure four. After falling out of the ring, Ziggler super kicked Miz off the apron and into the ring. Sadly his momentum took him back onto the floor and wound up getting counted out. Lame! WINNER: THE MIZ BY COUNTOUT

Post-match, Miz attacks Ziggy on the outside but Dolph got the last laugh when he Zig-Zagged poor Miz in the center of the ring. I repeat, PPV rematches on free TV are so lame!

Young interviews Jack Swagger coming off his crushing loss against Rusev. It’s at this time that I share my most sincere apologies to my buddy, Roger Morrissette, who used my words to justify him picking Jack in his pay-per-view picks. At least I now know that someone besides my mother is reading this! Swagger actually gives a very heartfelt and emotional promo about bouncing back and then hits the ring sans Zeb Colter.

JACK SWAGGER VS. CESARO

These guys work well together though I’m still shedding some tears over the rise and fall of Cesaro in 2014. I love JBL’s commentary as he keeps reiterating the point that Swagger let the whole country down. He even throws in that Jack’s loss is one of the country’s darkest moments and he even had the audacity to let the American flag hit the ground. Fantastic heel announcing from the Texan who goes on to say that he “might never be able to forgive Jack Swagger.” Definitely the highlight of the whole match for me. Meanwhile, Swagger attempts a pair of Patriot locks but caught a thumb to the eye by the Swiss Superman. Seizing the advantage, Cesaro applied the Neutralizer and the King of Swing is off the schneid! WINNER: CESARO

After the match, the forgotten Bo Dallas makes his return! The inspirational one points out to Swagger that he let 318 million Americans down when he lost his flag match. He said he lost more than that on Sunday as Jack also lost his manager and his dignity. Like all things with Bo, it isn’t a complete loss for the former Oklahoma Sooner as he states that he can get it all back if he just Bo-Lieves! That a boy, Bo! I feel better already!

More Renee in the back as this time she is joined by Y2J. Jericho said that he realizes that he has never faced anyone like Bray Wyatt. He puts over the spider walk and noticed that he has an emptiness in his eyes. He says that even though he lost, he isn’t dead inside like Wyatt. He has a fighting spirit and the best fans in WWE history. All the Jerichoholics have his back. Holy cow, SummerSlam was like the Empire Strikes Back of special events this year! What a downer! I feel like I should cheer myself up with a little Dark Knight Rises or perhaps even Old Yeller. All my heroes lost although at least in this case, Jericho did right by putting over Bray.

RANDY ORTON & RYBAXEL VS. ROMAN REIGNS, SHEAMUS & RVD

Pretty swank team on the heel side if you ask me. Orton, obviously still aligned with The Authority, teaming up with a couple of Hunter’s freelance contractors. I think it would be cool if they were added to the Authority roster but I suppose they don’t want to recreate the Corporation. Nothing special early on as Sheamus hits his usual spots on RybAxel, though things really pick up when Orton dumps the Celtic Warrior over the barricade and into the time keeper’s area. The Vegas crowd starts to get rowdy and start up a number of Ryback chants. Orton picks up on the insanity and immediately tags in his suddenly hot tag partner. We get some “feed me more” and “Ryback Rules” and it’s almost like it’s 2012-13 again. Things break down and this morphs into a spot fest. Everyone hits a finisher or two and it all ends when RVD feels froggy and Axel eats the pin. WINNER: THE GOOD GUYS

Fun match to further Reigns’ string of good fortune against the Viper. Just speculating but is RVD getting one last shine before heading out? A win last night and a pin on Raw in a six-man? Maybe he’ll be fed to Lesnar this winter. Just a thought.

Backstage, Flair meets up with Orton and wants to talk to him about Reigns. Orton is reluctant to say the least and tells him to back off or he’ll remind him why people once called him “The Legend Killer.” Two Flair appearances? Is it my birthday already?

Bray Wyatt speaks in the dark and it sounds like his feud with Y2J is going to continue. He calls himself the “new face of salvation” and instructs us to “follow the buzzards.” I just don’t know about that guy anymore. They definitely need to have him on in the first hour before I get groggy. Then I might stand a chance to comprehend what the hell that crazy bastard is talking about!

THE USOS VS. GOLDUST & STARDUST

Love this pairing though this begs the question of why was this not on the SummerSlam card? Even if not for the titles, these guys could have easily given us 15 solid minutes of show-stealing action. Not that the PPV had any duds on the card, but it was a bit of a travesty (yes, I’m being dramatic) that we saw no tag team matches on a SummerSlam. It’s just not right. I’m not sure what the cosmic key is, but I do know these guys can work. Stardust played face-in-peril and looked to be on the verge of tagging in his older brother. From out of the cosmos, if you will, the artist formerly known as Cody executed a sunset flip and pinned the champs for the surprise victory. WINNERS: THE DUST BROTHERS

Fun little match that sets up a possible Night of Champions pairing. I could watch these four battle for months at a time though – the way they were talking earlier – don’t be disappointed with Show & Henry get added to the mix.

Ugh. Rusev and Lana start talking about Putin and crap. I was taking my dog out at the time but when I came back, waitaminute, that’s Mark Henry’s music! The World’s Strongest Man now get’s the USA treatment and speaks of American pride. He reminds us that he represented the states twice in the Olympics. He called the Russian duo a pair of jackasses and it got under his skin to see the Russian flag in the middle of the ring last night. Mark wants to give Rusev a tour of the Hall of Pain. The brutes stand eye-to-eye before Rusev sucker punches him with three straight rights. They duke it out for a round before Henry deflects his bad ankle an scores with a World’s Strongest Slam! After a typhoon splash, Henry became the hottest guy in the company (yes, still being dramatic)! Probably the best segment of the night and quite unexpected given how much love he received during that earlier tag match.

John Cena will rise from the ashes and address the WWE Universe next week on Raw. I almost think I should send him a card much like I did for Hulk Hogan when Earthquake squashed him on the Brother Love Show so many moons ago. Memories…

King is in the ring and announces the winner of the fan vote for the Rollins/Ambrose match. Falls count anywhere is the people’s choice with just over 40%. I was hoping for a brass knuckles on a pole match in my one-man write-in campaign, but it appears I fell a tad short. In any event, here is your main event folks. Buckle up!

DEAN AMBROSE VS. SETH ROLLINS

It’s not long before this one quite literally goes anywhere as Ambrose dumps Rollins into the crowd. They fight off towards the stage area and Dean hits a vertical suplex onto the steel ramp. Ambrose then digs out a plethora of chairs and a kendo stick from under the ring and delivers a nasty bodyslam onto a chair that looked to shatter a few vertebrae. This guy is on fire and has the crowd eating out of his hands after utilizing all these sadistic maneuvers with the help of these chairs. Following a time out, Rollins incorporates the kendo stick and starts beating his former buddy like an old rug. Seth now employs a chair, but gets a steel facial for his troubles when dives into the post attempting to flatten Ambrose in the corner. They both attempted a cross-body and looked to knock the wind out of each other. I’m rather amazed that most of the action has taken place in the ring, though maybe they forgot the stip halfway through and are now just fighting a No DQ.

They continue to club one another when Ambrose scored a slingshot despite being repeatedly beaten with a stick just before Rollins got introduced to the turnbuckle. Dean then got the crazy eyes and started throwing in all the folding chairs he could find. He put Rollins up in the corner and attempted to end this with a superplex onto that pile of chairs, but Seth answered by delivering a stiff powerbomb onto said pile. Remarkably, Ambrose kicked out of that much to the amazement of all that were watching. Then we see Corporate Kane take a seat at the announce area. Rollins goes under the ring and grabs a table for a huge pop. Seth sets up the wood and places his opponents head on the table. He goes up top to hit a nasty curb stomp but Ambrose stood up and blasted Rollins through the table with a superplex. He then lands with a Dirty Deeds, but Kane makes the save. Ambrose gets the better of Kane and again Rollins is tossed into the crowd. Utilizing the new German announce table, Ambrose runs across both tables and dives onto Rollins in the expensive seats. The fans are going bananas as Rollins gets tossed onto the American announce table but Kane choke slams Ambrose before more damage can be done. Rollins connects with a curb stomp on the table while Kane exposes a random pile of concrete blocks that just happened to be at ringside. Nothing unusual about that! How do you apply for the job of making sure that there is a nice evenly piled collection of cinder blocks at ringside?

Kane holds down Ambrose as Rollins curb stomps Dean through the blocks that smash to pieces on impact. The ref calls for the bell and tells Rollins that he went too far. Seth is declared the winner as EMTs hit the ringside area. The announcers put on their serious voices as Rollins stands on top of the table. Ambrose doesn’t move and is quickly covered up by all the medical professionals as Jerry and JBL speculate that we’ll never see the Lunatic Fringe ever again. Fade to black! WINNER: SETH ROLLINS 

Disgusting finish to what was truly an instant classic. Kane needs to go away! Why doesn’t Ambrose have any friends? Ugh, it just bugs me that Kane can continually interfere and Ambrose is just left to be slaughtered week in and week out. I won’t go so far as to say that they are killing the character, but eventually this guy has to get over on these guys. At least one time would be nice! The ending does fit with the rest of the show though. The Authority is in the penthouse and running a muck. The faces remain on the defensive and disjointed. John Cena is dead but we know he will soon rise and it’s quite clear that Mark Henry will be next in line to put over Vladamir Putin.

Though fear not Nation for evil will not conquer us all! Our heroes will rise up, stomp out these many injustices and prevail over the inequities life has recently thrown at us. The good guys will rise and the sun will truly shine again!

All you have to do, is Bo-lieve!

Join the conversation by following me on “The Twitter” @DmcG4881. Still not enough? Hear me weekly on The Steve Corino Show every Friday and be sure to ask us questions @SteveCorinoShow.

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.